Tangled Page 61

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Can’t really argue with that.

She sits down across from me. “Kate and I are like sisters. Closer even. She’s not a one-night-stand kind of girl—she never was. She’s a relationship kind. It’s very important to me that she’s with someone who treats her right. A man.”

Couldn’t agree more. Most guys would sacrifice a limb for some juicy girl-on-girl action. It’s a turn-on—big time. But when it comes to Kate? I don’t plan on sharing. With either sex.

“Last time I checked, that’s what I was.”

“No. You’re a dog. She needs a good man. A nice man.”

Good guys are boring. You need a little bad to keep things fun. And nice guys? Nice guys have something to hide.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbors thought he was a nice guy. Until they found those heads in his freezer.

She crosses her arms, and her voice turns triumphant. Gloating. “And I know someone who’s perfect for her. He works in my lab. He’s smart. He’s funny. His name is Bert.”

Bert?

Is she f**king kidding me? What kind of sick son of a bitch names his kid Bert in this day and age? That’s just cruel.

“He’ll show Kate a good time. I plan on setting them up this weekend.”

And I plan on handcuffing myself to Kate’s ankle and eating the key. Let’s see what kind of good time Bert can show Kate when she’s dragging me around behind her like a Siamese twin.

“I have a better idea. How about we double. You and Matthew, me and Kate. We’ll hang out. It’ll give me the chance to show you how perfect Kate and I are for each other.”

“Okay, now you sound like a stalker. You had your chance, you f**ked up, get over it. Pick some other number out of your little black book and leave Kate alone.”

I stand up. “Contrary to what you think you know, I’m not some serial scumbag. I don’t lead women on—I don’t need to. You want me to tell Kate I’m sorry? I have. You want a guarantee that I’ll never hurt her again? I can write you one, and I’ll sign it in blood if it makes you happy. But don’t ask me to leave her alone, because I won’t. I can’t.”

She doesn’t move. Her face is as still and hard as a pissed-off statue. And my argument is making about as much of a dent as a goddamn toothpick.

“Did Matthew tell you what I was like? Do I look like the type of guy who goes catatonic over just any woman? God, Delores, I f**king worship her.”

She snorts. “Today. You worship her today. But what happens if she gives in? When the novelty wears off and the sex gets old? And some new bitch in heat crosses your path and wants you to sniff her ass?”

Sex doesn’t get old. Not if you’re doing it right.

“I don’t want anyone else. And I don’t see that changing any time…ever.”

“I think you’re full of shit.”

“I’m sure you do. If you dicked Matthew around the way I did with Kate, I’d pretty much write you off too. But what you think doesn’t change what Kate wants. And deep down, even if she won’t admit it yet, that’s me, sweetheart.”

“Could you be any more full of yourself? You may have money, but it can’t buy you class. Or integrity. You’re not even close to good enough for Kate.”

“But you think your cousin is?”

“No, I don’t. Billy’s an immature jackass, and that relationship was going nowhere fast for a long time. Over the years I tried to tell her. To make her see that she and their relationship had become more about friendship than real love. But by then our lives, our families, were so intertwined, I think they were both afraid of rocking the boat and losing more than just each other. But he did—does love her. I’m sure of that. He’s just always loved his guitar more.”

She starts to pace in front on my desk. Like a professor in a lecture hall.

“See, Drew, there are three kinds of males in this world: boys, guys, and men. Boys—like Billy—never grow up, never get serious. They only care about themselves, their music, their cars. Guys—like you—are all about numbers and variety. Like an assembly line, it’s just one one-night stand after another. Then there are men—like Matthew. They’re not perfect, but they appreciate women for more than their flexibility and mouth suction.”

She’s not wrong. You should listen to her.

The only part she doesn’t get, though, is that sometimes a guy can’t become a man until he’s met the right woman.

“You can’t make that call. You barely know me.”

“Oh, I know you. Believe me. I was conceived by a guy just like you.”

Crap. Daddy issues. They’re the worst.

“Kate and I look out for each other,” she goes on. “We always have. And I’m not going to let her be another notch on your STD-coated bedpost.”

You ever bang your head against a wall?

No?

Watch closely. This is what it looks like.

“She’s not. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! What f**king language would you like to hear it in?”

“I don’t know. Do you speak anything besides Asshole?”

I pinch the bridge of my nose. I feel an aneurism coming on.

“Okay, look—you don’t trust me? Fine. Talk to Matthew. You trust him, right? He wouldn’t want me screwing around with his girlfriend’s best friend if I wasn’t playing for keeps.”

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